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Longer Classes Versus More Frequent Classes: Which Wins? Evidence from a Liberal Arts College


  • Timothy M. Diette

    (Department of Economics, Washington and Lee University)

  • Manu Raghav

    (Department of Economics and Management, DePauw University)


Colleges and universities have to stagger their classes across different times and days to make the best use of their existing buildings. Some of these class meetings are for different lengths of time and meet a different number of days per week. In addition, students and faculty have increased demand for courses that meet fewer days per week. There is some concern that classes that meet more often are better suited for student learning than others. However, this paper finds that, after controlling for the class time and course fixed effects as well as faculty and student fixed effects, there is no statistical difference between student learning in two days and three days classes. Thus, for colleges similar to the one in this study there does not appear to be a trade-off between the frequency of course meetings and student achievement as measured by grades.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy M. Diette & Manu Raghav, 2016. "Longer Classes Versus More Frequent Classes: Which Wins? Evidence from a Liberal Arts College," Working Papers 2016-03, DePauw University, Department of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:dew:wpaper:2016-101

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy M. Diette & Manu Raghav, 2014. "A Student’s Dilemma: Is There a Traoff-off Between a Higher Salary or Higher GPA," Working Papers 2014-01, DePauw University, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. D. Mark Anderson & Mary Beth Walker, 2015. "Does Shortening the School Week Impact Student Performance? Evidence from the Four-Day School Week," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 314-349, July.
    3. Monks James & Schmidt Robert M., 2011. "The Impact of Class Size on Outcomes in Higher Education," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-19, September.
    4. Joyce, Ted & Crockett, Sean & Jaeger, David A. & Altindag, Onur & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2015. "Does classroom time matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 64-77.
    5. Dills, Angela K. & Hernández-Julián, Rey, 2008. "Course scheduling and academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 646-654, December.
    6. Timothy M Diette & Manu Raghav, 2015. "Class Size Matters: Heterogeneous Effects of Larger Classes on College Student Learning," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 273-283, March.
    7. Rice, Jennifer King & Croninger, Robert G. & Roellke, Christopher F., 2002. "The effect of block scheduling high school mathematics courses on student achievement and teachers' use of time: implications for educational productivity," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 599-607, December.
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    More about this item


    Class Meeting Frequency; Grades; GPA; Student Learning;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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